Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/28/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

This is our second year working with the Itatini Self-Help Group in Kivani Community. We installed a dug well and hand-pump alongside a sand dam to help households in the community access safe water.

However, we estimate a well can comfortably support 500 people, so more work needs to be done to ensure this community of nearly 1,500 people can access safe water. That is why we work together with the community for five years to build sustainable water and sanitation solutions.

The majority of people living in this area practice small-scale agriculture to feed their families and make a small profit in the market. Locals grow maize, peas, green grams and are recently involved in the cultivation of fruit trees such as mangoes and oranges.

The average day starts at 6am. Children prepare for school with the help of their parents and after that livestock are either taken out or tethered in the bush for grazing. After that, the husband and wife are free to engage in the main income generating activities; farming, casual labor, etc.

The well installed last year is properly taken care of as community members consider it important. The constructed sand dam and well is slowly easing the water challenges in the area with a substantial number of people in the community now able to access water easily.

It's for this reason that community members remain committed to implementing more projects in their area to continue easing water access. The construction of more water projects will help in making water easily accessible to everyone.

"Working on water projects is helping solve the water challenges in our area which has for long suffered continuous water problems, by coming together and working on more projects we will help bring water close to everyone in Kivani village," Mr. Gedion Mutie said.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Kivani Community has been the Itatini Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 37 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members will be our hands and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.


We’re going to continue training Kivani Community on hygiene and sanitation practices. Though our visits to households were encouraging, we want to ensure that community members are practicing the day to day habits we’re not able to observe. Food hygiene, water hygiene and treatment, personal hygiene and handwashing will all be a focus during our next review.

Hand-Dug Well

This particular hand-dug well is being built adjacent to this group’s ongoing sand dam project (click here to see), which will supply clean drinking water once it rains. We have supplied the group with the tools needed for excavation. With the guidance of our artisans and mechanics, the excavated well will be cased, sealed with a well pad, and then finished with a new AfriDev pump.

Excavation takes a month or more on average, depending on the nature of the rock beneath. Construction of the well lining and installation of the pump takes 12 days maximum. The well will be lined with a concrete wall including perforations so that once it rains, water will filter in from the sand dam.

This well will be located in Kivani Village and will bring clean water closer to families having to walk long distances for their water.

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates

September, 2019: Giving Update: Kivani Community

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kivani Community in Kenya access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Kivani Community. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

March, 2019: Water Flowing in Kivani Community

We're excited to let you know about a recent development in Kivani Community: The sand dam has captured and is filtering water from the first rainfall. There is now water flowing from the well!

Thank You for celebrating this moment with the community; none of this would have been possible without your generosity.

November, 2018: Kivani Community Hand-Dug Well Complete

Kivani Community, Kenya now has a new water source thanks to your donation. A hand-dug well was constructed adjacent to a sand dam. Once it rains, the dam will build up sand that both stores and naturally filters water available at the hand-dug well. Community members also attended hygiene and sanitation training, and plan to share what they learned with their families and neighbors.

New Knowledge

This hygiene and sanitation review was planned and organized by the Area Field Officer, Rhoda Mwangu, who communicated with the community members and settled on a date when Instructor Veronica Matolo could conduct sessions.

Household visits and interviews leading up to the review sessions informed Instructor Matolo about what topics she should highlight.

The attendance was not as expected. A good number of group members who previously said they’d be there sent the others with an apology that they had other engagements that could not be avoided. However, it was agreed that those in attendance would extend the knowledge acquired to those who could not make it.

We met outdoors under trees because it was sunny. There was not enough shade to accommodate everyone so we kept on moving to get enough.

Mrs. Matolo taught about the seasonal calendar, covering pit latrines, treating water, storing kitchen items, disposing of trash, and making soap. Participants look forward to not only using the soap they can make at home but selling it for a profit in the local market.

When recreating a seasonal calendar together, we talked about diseases, their causes, and prevention. People were surprised to learn that diseases are not directly connected to the weather, but to other things happening in the community. Many of these things, such as draining puddles to prevent mosquito breeding, can keep health complications at a minimum.

"The hygiene trainings have been done to us several times and we are very much grateful for the effort that is always made to ensure that we meet the content. The training has been very important to us because we are now rich in knowledge and what is expected of us as far as hygiene is concerned," said Mrs. Justina Pius.

"Our lives have changed; no more diseases because we already have the know-how on prevention. On the other hand, the knowledge of soap-making has been of importance to us in helping improve cleanliness levels at the household level."

Hand-Dug Well

We delivered the experts and materials, but the community helped get an extraordinary amount of work done. They collected local materials to supplement the project, including sand and water.

Chipping away more stones to use for well construction.


A seven feet in diameter hole is excavated up to a recommended depth of 25 feet. (Most hand-dug wells don’t reach that depth due to the existence of hard rocks between 10-18 ft.). The diameter then shrinks to five feet when construction of the hand-dug well lining is completed. This lining is made of brick and mortar with perforations to allow for water to seep through.


Once the construction of the lining reaches ground level, a precast concrete slab is laid on top and joined to the wall using mortar. Four bolts for the hand-pump are fixed on the slab during casting. The concrete needs to dry over the course of two weeks before the pump is installed.

The lining and stairs drying before the casting of the well cover

The mechanics arrive to install the pump as community members watch, learning how to manage simple maintenance tasks for themselves.

The well is then given another few days after installing the pump to allow the joints to completely dry.

The placement of the well behind the sand dam

The pump was installed level with the top of the sand dam because as the dam matures, sand will amass until it reaches the top of the platform. Once it rains, this sand behind the dam wall will store the water to be accessed through this hand-dug well. We look forward to reaching out again when we have news of water here.

"Working on sustainable water projects such as sand dams and shallow wells is a good way of increasing water access in our area," said Mr. Gideon Mutie.

"We are grateful to God for having completed the implementation of this project in the wake of several challenges faced. The dam and well will be helpful to the whole community since water will be readily available from within the village."

May, 2018: Kivani Community Hand-Dug Well Project Underway

A clean water shortage around Kivani Community still affects hundreds of lives, draining time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

Project Photos

Project Type

Hand-dug wells have been an important source of water throughout human history! Now, we have so many different types of water sources, but hand-dug wells still have their place. Hand dug wells are not as deep as borehole wells, and work best in areas where there is a ready supply of water just under the surface of the ground, such as next to a mature sand dam. Our artisans dig down through the layers of the ground and then line the hole with bricks, stone, or concrete, which prevent contamination and collapse. Then, back up at surface level, we install a well platform and a hand pump so people can draw up the water easily.

Giving Update: Kivani Community C

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kivani Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Gideon Mutie. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Kivani Community 2B.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kivani Community 2B maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

Kivani community members are enjoying the sand dam and well constructed a year ago, mostly because of the water supply that is available. The water is clean and fresh for drinking and cooking. The water project was open for use by all the area community members.

"At my age having this project is a blessing because I can relax in my house and also fetch water for my small projects around the compound unlike when the project was not there," said Gideon Mutie.

"I have used the water to improve my diet by planting kale, spinach, and arrowroot on my farm Life is tenfold better."

Most group members have stated that their hygiene and sanitation standards have improved immensely since the training that they received as a part of the water project. The members shower daily, their latrines are cleaned frequently and they wash their hands with soap. Water treatment is now an assimilated habit because they are now knowledgeable on cost-effective methods such as boiling.

"The well has had water throughout the year and has been beneficial to all the community members. It takes less than 30 minutes to fetch the water. The best part about the project is that the water was available at any time of the day, with no boundaries," Mr. Mutie said.

The water has been flowing throughout the year which has helped them in reducing their cost of living and improving their living standards.

"The water project has really improved my life. Due to the availability of water, I planted vegetables at my vegetable garden and sold them to other community members," said Robert Kioka.

"My grandchildren enjoy fetching water after school and they are now practicing personal hygiene such as washing clothes because the water is readily available."

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kivani Community 2B maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Kivani Community 2B – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


Project Sponsor - Pineapple Fund